Cst. Donald Davis

 

In 1939, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth made history in being the first reigning monarchs to visit Canada.  This royal tour was conceived by Governor General John Buchan and proposed to the Royal Family as a means to foster Canadian identity.  His proposal was well received by King George VI.

On May 17, 1939, King George and Queen Elizabeth commenced their Canadian royal train tour at Quebec City.  Royal tour next moved to Ottawa followed by Toronto.

After Ontario, the royal train tour headed west.  Winnipeg and Brandon were visited on May 24, 1939.  At each stop on their royal tour, the King and Queen were met with large crowds of welcoming Canadian citizens.

At 12:30 PM on May 25, 1939, the royal train tour pulled into Regina CPR train station.  Meeting the King and Queen was a mounted escort of RCMP members.

The following is a photograph of that mounted escort in front of “A” Block at Depot Division.

 

The lone member identified by the white circle is Constable Donald Davis (Reg. #13041) and was riding ‘Monty.’  He was the lead rider when escorting the Royals.

According to Donald Davis, “the original plan was to have the mounted escort carrying lances.  However, rain fell and the Sergeant Major made the decision that no lances were to be carried.  Instead, they were to carry carbines.”

From the train station, the mounted escort took the Royals to Regina’s city hall.  From the city hall, the escort duty was taken over by the motorcycle escort and the Royals travelled to the Provincial Building then to the Regina Exhibition Grounds.  From the Exhibition Grounds, the Royals travelled to Depot with the mounted RCMP escort.  Royals first stop was the Officer’s Mess where they were met by Commissioner Stuart Wood and Assistant Commissioner Charles King (Reg. #4322 – O.177).

On the lawn across the street from the Officer’s Mess, the RCMP Band played the National Anthem.  Thereafter, the Royals were entertained in the Officer’s Mess.  The Commissioner presented each officer and their wife to the Royals.

Prior to departing Depot, the Commissioner provided the Royals and Prime Minister MacKenzie King with a tour of the barracks, the new Crime Lab, the chapel and the cenotaph where the Royals paid homage for members killed on duty.

Shortly thereafter, the Royals departed for their next engagement at the Saskatchewan Government House.  At 9 PM, the Royals boarded their CPR train and headed west to visit other parts of Western Canada then the maritime provinces.

For Constable Donald Davis, this experience was one that he would never forget.

Donald Davis joined the Force as a Reserve Constable (Reg. #R-93) on August 23, 1937.  He was only twenty and could not apply to be a regular member until he was twenty-one.  During his career, Don served in “L”, “B” and “H” Divisions.  Rising through the ranks, he retired as a Staff Sergeant posted at Halifax Nova Scotia.  As a Force requirement at the time, Don Davis was forced to retire at forty-nine years of age in 1966.  On September 3, 2009, he passed at Halifax Nova Scotia.

Don’s son, Don Davis (Reg. #25820 – O.1728) also joined the Force on July 5, 1967.  His son served in “H” and “E” Division.  On July 5, 2002, Insp. Don Davis retired from the Force as the OIC Community Police and Crime Prevention/Victim Services – “E” Division.

The photo below are that of Don Davis (Reg. # 13041) on my mount – ‘Monty.’

Article was submitted by Veteran Ric Hall.

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